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back to article UK Music secret data: 'Young people will pay for downloads'

A music trade body has kept secret the results of asking 1,800 young people how much they would pay for a limitless download service. UK Music chief executive Feargal Sharkey told OUT-LAW Radio the information was commercially sensitive. UK Music carried out a survey of 1,800 British people between the ages of 14 and 24 and …

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Anonymous Coward

would

Would it include J-Pop, K-Pop and C-Pop or just American and British tosh?

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Silver badge

Anyone know?

Taking individuals to court may not be cost effective. Sending threatening letters in bulk offering out of court settlements works very well - especially if you do not pass any of the proceeds on to musicians. Anyone know if it is just the civil court actions that will come to an end, or do the threatening letters stop too?

Music distributors finally discovering that most people are not a bunch theives. How long has this taken? Next thing you know, they will remove the advert for downloading films from new DVD's.

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Big Brother

Under NO circumstances...

must this 'legislation' be left in the hands of either the scumvernment or the music 'industry'. If enacted at all, it MUST be overseen by the courts. If it gets put into the hands of Darth Mandelson, or some other scumvernment 'Agency' (when the fuck did we start needing all these 'agencies' anyway?) it will undoubtedly be used to disconnect those judged to be 'troublemakers' by said scumvernment agency. (The "Governmental Internet Termination Service"...you can form your own acronym, I'm sure) By troublemakers I of course mean ANYONE not toeing the NuLabourian Party Line.

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Stop

It all depends on what you mean by "download"

Are we talking about DRM-protected, tethered content that evaporates when you cancel your subscription or content that you really own in perpituity like MP3s? If its the former then I wouldn't pay anything but if its the latter then I would pay a bit.

However the real problem remains - finding any music worth listening to. Even with iTunes its hard to find more than one or two tracks a month that I like enough to buy how much would I pay for 2 downloads a month?

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Pirate

Here's a few ideas...

... for the music industry in general

1 - STOP treating your customers like thieves and get rid of anything that resembles DRM. It's been broken so many times it's got more stitches than material holding it together. It's a joke, and the punchline isn't funny anymore.

2 - PEOPLE are willing to pay a good/fair price for a unlimited service, many surveys have come to this conclusion. Take the damn hint and start providing it. Yes, that means letting customers keep the music. If it's at a price everyone is comfortable with, there will be no incentive to steal it (although there will always be a few who do).

3 - PROMOTE every artist equally. Yes, someone will enjoy the more obscure bands. Trying to promote only a handful of artists is counter-productive. Give people lots of choice and they'll choose it, but the choice has to be there. Don't forget, MySpace and other sites allow bands to promote themselves, your promo teams are no longer alone at the top of the food chain. You might be surprised, customers might start choosing musicians with talent rather than picking up on names you push into the spotlight. At least have the decency and self-respect of providing good music.

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FAIL

Unproductive?

"UK Music has ruled out backing civil court actions against individuals, saying they are "unproductive"."

That's the problem with courts, you generally have to provide this thing called "evidence", which the music industry really isn't that keen on. Much easier to chuck a couple of accusations about and see people punished on that basis.

(PS: no, I'm not a freetard.... if there's a band I'm not familiar with, I'll d/l a few tracks to see what I think. If I like, I go buy the CD(s). If I don't, I delete. Make me unable to try before I buy, I just won't buy.)

FAIL defines UK Music nicely.

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Riiiiight

"The young people revealed <they> still participated in illegal downloading because they liked to own material"

So these would be the 1800 that DIDN'T get A-grade GCSEs and A-Levels then? Who wants to be the first to point out to them that stealing something doesn't mean you own it? It still belongs to the person you stole it from it's just that you are now benefiting from the possession.

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Anonymous Coward

Datz Music Lounge has failed

As one of the unfortunates who paid Datz for this kind of service it should be notified that appears to have failed as major artists have disappeared, The phone is never answered and emails never replied to.

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Pirate

License fee

I could see this somewhere in the future spiralling out of control to a TV license fee type situation. A "detector van" drives around with a list of houses that haven't bought a "music download license" and knocks on you door demanding you buy a license or let them search your house to establish that you haven't got a computer and internet connection. Everyone not paying will be guilty until proven innocent.

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M 6
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outlaw OUT-LAW

Most of the stuff OUT-LAW spew out is bollocks. Why are they still around?

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Back then

When I was that age, if someone had offered me all-you-can eat ala Spotify for £10pm, I'd have bitten them off at the elbow. Even twice nay thrice that (I was probably buying 5 or 6 albums a month then anyway) for being able to download the tracks too. However, now, I've already got a reasonable collection of music from over the years and for catching up with the latest stuff, I'm quite OK with (not)listening to a few adverts in between.

If Spotify did a limited service for much less a month, I might be inclined, but I'm not ponying up £10pm as I simply don't need that level of access.

It amazes me, that it's taken 10 years for the music industry to sort this shit out. Think how much revenue they may have lost over those 10 years, not to mention the negative image they've painted for themselves.

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FAIL

Say what?

""Let's say you develop a graduated response that has got 95 steps. So you've now asked somebody 95 times very nicely and very politely can you please stop doing that and 95 times they've refused to," he said. "What do you do?""

But your industry isn't asking 95 times, you are _demanding_ just three times -- which doesn't give much room for errors -- and your industry doesn't have a habit of asking 'very nicely' and 'very politely' now, does it?

And for that matter "Acting like judge and jury" by getting the ISP to shut the user off without due process of law" wouldn't be a valid "What do you do" even if you had asked 999,95 times.

(Sighs) Jumping to absurd extremes to belittle the opposition's position is a fallacious attack, not a valid argument. We could more validly suggest that three strikes is just as ridiculous in the 'too few' direction, given the errors that can be made.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Mr Sharkey

Accusing me 95 times is STILL not proof that I am doing something unlawful.

Either take me to court or piss off.

Yours sincerely,

Someone who likes a little due process of law

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WTF?

It's just music

I've never understood why people get so heated about digital music. Yes, yes, I've heard all about the inexcusable attacks on our rights, fair use, copyrights, etc. Clearly, DRM is a sign of the coming apocalypse, and the RIAA eats more babies before breakfast than most people do all day.

I can't gather up enough energy to be indignant about this stuff. It's just not that important. There's a million worse things in the world. Get some perspective and get angry about one of those.

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g e
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WTF?

So. These court awards

If the MAFIAA gets awarded 1M damages... now that's damages against the 'society', not the artist.

Does the artist even see any of this money ever?

Is this just more profitable then collecting and paying the artists their pittance... i.e. doing their job?

Anyone know?

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FAIL

Compete with free

There is a price that competes with free. And it's pretty much what AllOfMp3 used to charge. $0.10 to $0.25 (you do the maths) per track and $1.00 to $2.50 per album. All for 192K LAME VBR Mp3s. You can probably charge a little more for FLAC. Even if you habitually download and share music (or just swap hard drives), the convenience of a reliable source of quality encoding and tagging is worth that much.

So how about the music industry works out how to get a distributor to license the allofmp3 software and puts out every track they've ever released at that sort of price?

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@dracnoc

Pay for services do not work because the big label as a hard time switching to a legal way to make money amd they do not yet understand the fact that there is ONE MAKET: EARTH.

Unless every single piece of music is avaible on a pay service, the "alternative" will always be more successfull.

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Badgers

All you can eat

Now they just need to apply this, then go on to apply it to video. My guess is, though, they will apply it poorly, figure that a little DRM never hurt anyone, and charge $100 a month or something. Then they will wonder why no one uses it, and complain that freetards are just incorrigible buccaneers and brigands, worse than the lowliest high seas criminal, and will never pay for content.

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Megaphone

The survey

I remember taking part in that survey, guess they didn't use my data as I'm over 40. They just don't listen do they, these music industry types do they? This is what I want, as I remember when I'd regularly buy two to three albums per week, now I'm lucky to buy that in a 5 year period! I want a good quality download, not some shitty compressed MP3 rubbish, WORSE than CD, and mind you CD is worse than Vinyl. I'll pay for a high quality download. My Meridian/Linn Hi-Fi does not like shite MP3's. I want to own it, like I used to with a Vinyl Album. I want descent sleeve notes on the songs, some info on the band, and their inspirations to write the songs (apart from £££) and I want to be able to put on at least 5 devices of MY choice.

Music sales have gone down the plug hole? Why?

60's 70's 80's Great bands that could play their instruments, write great songs, from YES to SAHB, to many more, great album art, inspirational art, fantastic lyrics. Where bands played the clubs and circuits and developed a following.

90's Early 21st Century. Shite bands, manufactured bands, can't play, rubbish sleeve art, rubbish lyrics, repetitive jungle music.

I WANT QUALITY, not unlimited drivel at a price. Make something that make my ears go WOW!

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Silver badge
FAIL

"Let's say...

... you develop a graduated response that has got 95 steps. So you've now asked somebody 95 times very nicely and very politely can you please stop doing that and 95 times they've refused to," he said. "What do you do?"

Err, how about getting it through your skulls that your out-moded, out-dated and obsolete revenue stream model is DEAD and try embracing the new technology instead of clinging onto something that will just make you look like greedy idiots when you try to fine grannies a million quid for "illegal" (it isn't, it's civil, not criminal) downloading.

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Megaphone

A Good Song...

..these days is hard to find. Fnar.

"So you've now asked somebody 95 times very nicely and very politely can you please stop doing that and 95 times they've refused to..."

So that's 95 missed opportunities to fix your business model and/or release some quality music that represents good value for money.

Stop forcing the Sugababes down our throats at the expense of non-manufactured, unknown bands who have actual musical talent. In fact, cut back drastically on all forms of marketing and let us find the music we want to listen to.

Offer downloads at a reasonable price. Delivery of digital media should cost far less than physical CDs, and as an intangible purchase it should be priced accordingly. Don't expect £12+ for a downloaded album. Cut that figure in half -- twice.

Also, use DRM-free lossless audio (I prefer FLAC). You don't need DRM, you need to learn to trust the consumer once more, like you had to when people could just copy vinyl and CDs to cassette tape. Sure, you whined like bitches that "home taping is killing music" for a while back then, but at least you didn't treat your customer base as a bunch of criminals.

Give us some huge, super high resolution images in lieu of the gatefold album covers of old. Allow us to print them out on some glossy paper and use them to adorn our walls.

If I can get all that for £3 a pop I'd buy three or four a week, provided that the quality is there. Right now I spend pretty much dick all as most releases don't seem to be worth the investment.

[And well done to the AC above who mentioned SAHB, that's a prime example of quality music and some of the most memorable album art ever. "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" is one of my favourites.]

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Silver badge

OK...

Fergal is not a bad guy by a long stretch, and really his views are much more sensible than the majority of the music industry so far, so generally I would support him.

But as it has been pointed out more than once, what the "big" players needed to do (and missed by a decade or more) is to have a legal version of allofMP3: all labels, choice of formats, no DRM, prices that are commensurate with the 'no physical shipment' nature of downloads.

Yes, fretards will still download form other sources, but move 60% to paying and that is a hell of a lot more than they have done so far!

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wsm
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95 times ignored

If I am ignored 95 times, and I know I will be, then I must take immediate action after 3 notices of any kind. Said action will surely be effective, as I will own anything I believe is appropriate to my needs.

Who am I?

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FAIL

So...

Let me get this straight. Feargal "acceptable face of a greedy industry" Sharkey says that da kids are prepared to pay, but want to own music for cheap - which somehow equates to "they value music highly", the part about how highly being hidden as perhaps it's not as much as they'd like us to think.

He then moves directly on to a weary rant about punishment and how they've tried and tried and been fair, but people just won't do the right thing, and so really, really have been asking (no, begging) for an extra-judicial knuckle crushing.

What appears to be missing is the bit in the middle, which in most such instances would connect part A and part C, i.e. the bit where they listen to the consumer, get all smart, new economy and innovative and deliver something acceptable to both the industry and its customers. Except that like the party their industry so generously funds the only ideas they are capable of generating are on how to punish people and how to spend money.

Apple has shown the industry what does work, numerous attempts at enforcement through court and otherwise, and the attendant mistakes have shown what doesn't. I simply can't think of another industry that could survive in spite of a decade of weapons grade stupidity, in the process alienating even its most sympathetic customers, and with a quality of product that could be emulated by a retarded 4 year old chimp with a stylophone.

Perhaps they should get a few bankers to front UK music; they might get more sympathy.

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Alert

Commercially sensitive or comemrcially intended

I can only see one reason for considering as commercially sensitive the average amount that youngsters are prepared to pay for music and that is that UK Music is intending to start their own business selling music. If they aren't out to make money themselves, why is it commercially sensitive? Oops!

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Anonymous Coward

For the 100th time...

"Let's say you develop a graduated response that has got 95 steps. So you've now asked somebody 95 times very nicely and very politely can you please stop doing that and 95 times they've refused to," he said. "What do you do?"

You ask again in a firmer tone for the 96th time and if that doesn't work... bribe them! Taking people for meals out and giving them money usually gets people to comply - just look at governments and the content industry! Lead by example *fa-nah, fa-nah*

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Bronze badge

Very mixed feelings.

Mr. Sharkey, some of us don't listen to Radio 1.

And some of us have even been known to write and record our own songs, and quite legally make them available as MP3s.

It makes me wonder if I'm in any sort of market that the alleged music industry is involved in.

I don't trust Mr. Mandelson's ideas. because there seems to be no appreciation of the possibility of error. Not every MP3 is an illegal recording. Go and look at Amazon's cloud computing services, and an option in their file storage/download system is BitTorrent.

There's a song which sums it all up. The times they are a-changin'.

What won't change is that some talented person writes or performs a song, and will want to see some reward from their effort. And there needs to be a way of getting payment from consumer to creator.

What is driving the current argument is the presence of large corporate bodies, sitting in the middle, It's quite likely we need some of the services they provide, such as the filtering out of the rubbish. (Yes, I know what can get through their filters, but there's a difference between rubbish and a style of music I dislike). But the argument is about the flow of money, from which they are claimed to skim the cream, and I'm not sure that anyone is asking the right questions.

In any event, there are other ways of rewarding creators. Every time I borrow a book from a library, my choice feeds into a system called Public Lending Right, and that author eventually gets a payment.

But don't tell Peter Mandelson. He'll want to mess up that, next. We've got an election due, and a known crook back in government, pulling ideas out of thin air, after a holiday with people who might want to bribe him. Let's treat these proposals with extreme caution.

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Happy

IT Geek Stereotype?

Glasses? Check!

Pudding basin haircut? Check!

Braces? Check!

Damn! That was me (minus the braces) at his age! Not that I ever sullied myself with a Mac - I did that with an Amstrad 1512!

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@Mectron

That's the exact point I'm trying to make. There will always be a market where things are cheaply and freely available, regardless of popularity. All I ask is that ALL artists be represented equally in promotion and price, let the consumer make the choice about what is popular.

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FAIL

95 times ignored [again]

"Let's say you develop a graduated response that has got 95 steps. So you've now asked somebody 95 times very nicely and very politely can you please stop doing that and 95 times they've refused to," he said. "What do you do?"

How about take them to court for the civil offence of copyright infringement which is already on the statute books and has penalties laid down? Not make up special sanctions to scare people since they don't require any burden of proof, just because you managed to get lunch on a posh yacht with Geffen.

Innocent until proven guilty. In a court, not some dark room by Fergal, MandelHoon and Geffen. Downloaders are not the end of civilisation, and laws only function by the consent of the population.

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WTF?

Letterbocks

Am I the only one who kept thinking the article sounded like it was lifted from Viz? I mean, all it needs is Shakey as UK Music's Venerable Domicile spokesman and a picture of Clark Datchler.

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@Ian Court

I agree:

"If I can get all that for £3 a pop I'd buy three or four a week, provided that the quality is there. Right now I spend pretty much dick all as most releases don't seem to be worth the investment."

At £3 an album and , say, 50p for 'hit' tracks, all other tracks 25p.

I'd buy heaps at that price. (That's *buy*)

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FAIL

Failed business model

Shock! Horror! the copyright MAFIAA suppresses information we already know....

The whole music industry business model is a failed pile of shit. The music industry is not interested is producing releasing real musicians, they promote "acts". Why take a group os serious gigging musicians that will be in the business for 20 or more years generating a steady turnover for that period of time.

No the MAFIAA are more interested in acts that they can hype to generate interest, its much better for their back pockets to take some "act", spend lots of money promoting the "act", and fill mega-stadiums with teeny-boopers once a year, and then drop them the second there is any sign of slippage in their sales, find another "act", and repeat ad nausium.

Just look at what happened to the winner and runner of last years X-Factor, Simon Cowell dropped the winner from his label because the runner-up, the Blondie haired guy with the trained voice sold more CDs than the winner (See, I can't even remember their names)

Compare that with Status Quo, you can probably count the number of "No 1 hits" they have had on one hand, possibly because they were not managed by Chapman/Chinn or Stock/Aiken/Waterman, yet they have been a gigging band for the best part of 40 years.

Just in the past year I have bought 2 CDs just because the record shop was playing them when I walked in, one of the bands gained a bit in popularity, the second has yet to show on the charts or press in any significant amount, but then they don't seem to be signed to one of the big four in the MAFIAA.

So not only have the copyright mafia got it wrong by failing to embrace the downloading business model, they've also made a complete bollocks of the "acts" they promote. Forgat the latest sugerpubes manufactured band, get out there and sign up and promote real musicians, and make their music available in a lossless DRM free format for a reasonable price.

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Silver badge

DRM funds drugs

They put out adverts telling us that buying from pirates will fund drug gangs.

If they stop people downloading music and films, they will go to the back street seller and get them. Exactly what the adverts are supposed to be stopping.

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Anonymous Coward

RE:DRM Funds drugs

I always figured that if I were to start selling dodgy DVDs or CDs and got busted, I'd then turn around and sue the industry for defamation of character, 'cos I've lost count of the number of posters I've seen that state that unauthorised copies fund people-trafficking and drug cartels.

Surely the drugs are what fund the drug gangs anyway?

I also take offense at the "Low quality copies" spiel that I see every time I go to the cinema - All my home burns are from good copies - Wouldn't waste the space on my hard drive with CAMs.

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